Workers who receive Social Security disability (SSD) benefits usually understand that these much-needed government payments only last for a limited time. Under certain circumstances, the Social Security Administration (SSA) will no longer provide these benefits.
In 2020, nearly 893,000 disabled workers had their SSD benefits terminated. That amount represents the most ever recorded since such statistics began in 1960. The number represents a 2.5% increase from the nearly 871,000 workers terminated for benefits in 2019. Roughly 70% of this group lost their benefits because they either reached full-retirement age or no longer met medical requirements.
Improved health and full retirement age
The primary reasons why disabled workers had their SSD benefits terminated in 2020 were:
- The person reached full-retirement age (FRA): Nearly 544,000 or close to 61% turned 66 that year, reaching full-retirement age. Once this takes place, those SSD benefits automatically become retired worker benefits.
- The death of the disabled worker: More than 268,000 SSD benefits recipients died in 2020, accounting for 30%. A number of disabled workers who receive benefits have serious and life-threatening ailments. Under these circumstances, eligible dependents may receive survivor benefits.
- The person does not meet medical standards: Nearly 78,000 were in this category, representing close to 9% of the workers who had benefits terminated. Within this group, nearly 50,000 (64%) were able to return to work. Also, nearly 25% saw significant medical improvement and 10% failed to cooperate with SSA.
You will receive SSD benefits if your medical ailment prevents you from working at least a year. These are much-needed benefits to help you but understand that they are not permanent.
May no longer need them
The challenges you face as a disabled worker are many. You want to work but cannot and that is why you receive SSD benefits. But you no longer will need them if your health improves enough that you may get back to work or once you reach full-retirement age.